Google is doing just what we need it to do, keep other companies on their toes

As I continue to read about the enhancements that Google is rolling out I find that I continue to see two things from Google. One, they are creating an amazing ecosystem that we all are being sucked into by the freemiums such as Gmail, Google Docs/Drive, Youtube, Google+ and Android. And two, they are keeping other companies competitive and innovative, which is exactly what we need Google to do. This article here is a great example because as soon Google+ increased their profile pic size, Facebook did the same within 24 hours. Outside of search and Youtube, I don’t see Google as a leader in any other industry. I find that they are second or third when it comes to online office software with Microsoft Office leading that front. I find that in online storage they are just getting into the game with Dropbox and having a good start ahead (and even Microsoft Skydrive). In the mobile arena the android operating system is seen as a competitor to the industry leading Apple iOS. In social media, Google+ is the fourth to fifth largest social network behind Facebok, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin. And Gmail is very high in terms of online mail usage but Yahoo and Hotmail have more users.

With all that being stated, Google is in the game and keeping all those industry players on their toes and not letting anyone become complacent in their industry. I enjoy Apple products very much but I also enjoy that Android Mobile makes sure to keep adding features to stay competitive. I really like Google+ and the features on the social network are innovative and easy to use but with Facebook coming out of the gate as the social media behemoth for so many years, Google+ is an afterthought for people who don’t have time to manage multiple social networks, Facebook and Twitter were hard enough as it was. Therefore, Google+ needs to stay in the game even though it appears that it’s Facebook or Twitter’s game to lose.

As I look at how ministries can use Google as a service, I believe that they can use Google as an online component to many of their administrative and marketing needs to help advance the ministry online. For example, distributing the video content of the ministry via Google+ and Youtube are great ways to create an online audience. Google+ is still a growing social network and is a great place for a ministry to build up an audience and have video chats online using Google+ hangouts feature. Ministries can use Google Apps as a low cost alternative to Microsoft Office and have a fully online cloud hosted office applications suite that isn’t limited to the office but is accessible wherever there’s an internet connection and from whatever device the ministry personnel wants to you such as laptops, desktops, ipads, iphones, android phones and others. These cloud services are already being used heavily by universities, nonprofits, small businesses, local schools and other organizations that see the benefit of having full office software without having to worry about high licensing fees or servers. This is just one of the many options the cloud and Google offers to help ministries advance online.

Thanks Steve Jobs, Apple will help advance ministries online

As I sit here with my iPhone, iPad, iMac, Macbook, Apple TV, my wife’s iPhone, iPad and my children’s iPods, I marvel at the impact that the Apple hardware and software has made on my family.  Our numerous purchases and loyalty to Apple products makes us an above average family technologically as well as a collector of Apple products since they release new ones every year.  The reason I am reflecting is that one of the top news stories last week was the passing of Steve Jobs.

Now I didn’t know Steve personally but based on the stories I have heard and read, he was  innovative, brilliant, entrepreneurial, egomanic, maniacal, a family man, non-philanthropic and quite a few things in between.  I found myself drawn to Steve for his innovation, products and business acumen, but not pleased with the sweat shops in China that produced the products and the ways he berated people in order to get them to produce beyond their limits.  Overall, he was quite the unique guy.

Nonetheless, I named my first book The iChurch Method, based on my appreciation for the numerous iOS products that I feel have enhanced my life and business.  I had the choice between iChurch, internet church, eChurch and online church.  Each of these names encompassed what I was trying to explain in the iChurch Method book and how ministries can advance and utilize the internet.  I desire that this book not only be innovative in it’s approach but also “just work” as Steve Jobs would say.  There is somehow a misconception that the ways megachurches use technology is based on their large revenue streams and I want to dispel that myth.  With the numeourous megachurches that I have had the opportunity to work with, each and every one of them has used similar technologies and software that can be used by a small storefront for a fraction of the cost. They all had the same approach which is:

  • A great website that is easy to use
  • Interactive multimedia
  • Ecommerce - online store and online donations
  • Social Media - engage and connect
  • Mobile - The future of technology and ministry

These five steps were so consistent amongst these ministries that it inspired me to write the book and let the masses know that this technology and methodology was readily available.  Finally, the premise of Apple products and the vision of Steve Jobs, was that every product “just work”. By bringing down the “difficulty wall” on cellphones, mp3 devices, tablets, computers and every other Apple product, they have redefined the user experience for their products.  This “ease of use” is what The iChurch Method is based on, to take technology for ministries, make it easy and help churches to make sure it “just works”.  Thanks Steve, Apple will help advance ministries online.